Unless we were doing something wrong – and we’ll correct this in the Comments later if it transpires we were – it appears as if the TV doesn’t actually have any significant codec support of its own. Instead it just functions as a simple renderer of stuff streamed – at low quality only, so far as we can tell – from the Windows Media Player 12 system shipped with Windows 7. WMP 11 doesn’t offer the facility to stream out video to a TV, which is why the TV is only acknowledged to be compatible with Windows 7 PCs.
Toshiba is on its own with this frankly rather half-hearted approach to DLNA functionality, and it’s not a great move. We’ve asked Toshiba for clarification/confirmation of all this, and if a firmware update might be in the offing that could improve matters, but haven’t had a response as yet. (Though sadly, a workable firmware update seems unlikely.)
It’s also a tad disappointing – though more forgiveable given the 40SL753’s price – that Toshiba hasn’t stretched the Ethernet jack to any sort of online functionality beyond the potential occasional interactive feature that might come on line via the built-in Freeview HD tuner.
Duty compels us to report that Toshiba does offer an optional Wi-Fi USB dongle for the 40SL753, but it’s highly questionable whether this is worth spending good money on given how limited the TV’s multimedia features are.
Thankfully, the 40SL753’s features become much less controversial once you stop trying to get its multimedia stuff to work and focus instead on calibrating its pictures. For among a surprisingly flexible suite of adjustments are a genuine colour management system, multiple gamma settings, a basic but welcome tool for shifting the underlying black and white balance, and separate MPEG and standard noise reduction systems.
It’s a pity Toshiba’s dated looking onscreen menus don’t make using all these features more enjoyable, but really we’re just happy they’re there at all considering how affordable the set is. Especially since the tools on offer really can help the TV deliver some startlingly good pictures considering what an affordable edge LED model it is.
With bright, colour-rich footage, for instance, there’s a degree of luminousness and that eludes most CCFL TVs. This helps colours achieve that extra level of vibrancy and insight we’re starting to associate with edge LED sets too, yet for the most part the extreme saturations don’t become stressy or cartoonish (so long as you don’t make the mistake of sticking with the insane Dynamic factory picture preset).
HD pictures look reasonably crisp and detailed meanwhile, at least when the image content is relatively static. And standard definition pictures can be made to look unusually detailed and sharp, too, thanks to Toshiba’s impressive (so long as you use it with care) Resolution+ processing system.